NEWS
08/02/2020 14:15 GMT

Keir Starmer Cancels Labour Leadership Campaigning As Mother-in-law Remains Critically Ill

Labour leadership hustings scheduled for Sunday postponed as Keir Starmer’s mother-in-law in critical condition in intensive care following an accident.

 

Labour leadership contender Keir Starmer has cancelled planned campaign events this weekend as his mother-in-law remains in a critical condition in intensive care.

The shadow cabinet member was due to take part in hustings with other candidates in the battle to succeed Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday and Sunday.

A hustings event in Nottingham went ahead on Saturday with a representative standing in for Starmer.

A spokesperson for the early frontrunner in the leadership race said: “Since being admitted to hospital two weeks ago, Keir’s mother-in-law remains in a critical condition in intensive care.

“For this reason, he will be cancelling all campaign events this weekend and will be unable to attend hustings.

“We ask that his family’s privacy is respected at this time.”

Starmer pulled out of campaign events for a number of days in January after his mother-in-law was admitted to hospital following an accident.

At the time the shadow cabinet member thanked people for their “support and kindness” in what he said had been - and would continue to be - “a very difficult time”.

 

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Polls have regularly been suggesting that Starmer is likely to come out on top in the leadership ballot in which he is pitted against Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry and Lisa Nandy.

At a rally in Sheffield on Friday night, Long-Bailey pledged to back workers and trade unions in every strike and dispute “no questions asked” if she succeeds in becoming Labour leader.

The shadow business secretary said the party’s path back to power after its worst general election defeat since 1935 is by “rebuilding” the trade union movement.

She added that the next leader must be “as comfortable on the picket line as at the dispatch box” and commit to giving workers a “right to unplug” from emails and calls outside of work hours.

“As leader, I’ll put trade unions at the heart of Labour’s path to power, and back workers in every dispute,” she said.

She said Labour would “back workers in every dispute and strike against unfair, exploitative and unjust employers” under her leadership.

And she said that “standing on the side of workers and trade unions, no questions asked, is going to be crucial in standing up to this reactionary Conservative Government”.

Although she is seen as the current leadership’s favoured candidate, it appears she is facing an uphill battle to convince the membership to vote for her.

An Ipsos Mori study released on Thursday put Ms Long-Bailey in last place when 1,001 voters were asked if she has what it takes to be a prime minister.

She also trailed in last place – with Keir Starmer on top, Lisa Nandy second and Emily Thornberry third – when Labour supporters were asked the same question.

The campaign result will be announced on April 4.